Tag Archives: CEO

Zubin Karkaria honoured with TAAI’s ‘Award of Distinction’

Zubin Karkaria, CEO of VFS Global, and CEO of Kuoni Group, was conferred with the ‘Award of Distinction’ by the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), for his long-standing contribution to the Indian travel and tourism industry. The award was presented to Karkaria at the 63rd TAAI Convention held in Abu Dhabi on 14 October 2016. The award recognises his pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit and his role as a mentor in the industry. Presently, VFS Global serves 51 client governments and operates in 126 countries across 5 continents. The company, which pioneered the concept of visa process outsourcing, has facilitated travel across the world by enhancing efficiencies in the visa application process and making the overall visa application experience easier and more convenient for potential travellers. The ISO 27001:2013 certified company (for Information Security Management System) has been recognized for maintaining highest levels of security, while adhering to best practices in technology, innovation, and streamlined service delivery. Karkaria, who has been a part of the travel industry for more than 25 years, established visa processing multinational VFS Global in 2001. In 2015, he became the first Asian to head the Switzerland headquartered Kuoni Group.

Read More »

Deutsche Hospitality’s India plan: Open 20 hotels in 15 years

Deutsche Hospitality is very ambitious about the brand’s growth in the India market. In a recent interview, Puneet Chhatwal, CEO, Steigenberger Hotels AG, says, “We are very ambitious concerning our growth in the Indian market. In fact, we are already present there as partner in the joint venture ‘MBD Steigenberger,’ which is currently in process of being registered under Indian company law. Together with our Indian partner MBD group, India’s largest education and leading hospitality company, we are planning to open at least 20 hotels in India over the next 15 years. The first hotel will be in Bangalore.”

Read More »

Vistara celebrates its 3 millionth customer

Vistara surprised its three millionth customer at Kolkata’s Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport with a grand welcome and a live acoustic music performance. The passenger also received a courtesy upgrade to Vistara’s Business Class cabin on his flight to Delhi. Expressing delight on the milestone achievement,  Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO, Vistara, said, “There’s nothing more satisfying for us than to see our customers reacting positively to our product and service. 3 million is not just any number to us. It is a significant milestone in our journey to become a world-renowned airline of choice esteemed for its exceptional customer service. This milestone celebration could not have been more timely, taking place just before Diwali. Our fast growing fan base is a strong endorsement of our brand and a fruition of our relentless commitment to transforming the flying experience in India, forever. This milestone achievement only strengthens our resolve further to delight our customers at every encounter, on every journey. We look forward to welcoming our five millionth customer on board soon.”

Read More »

Vistara receives CAT III-B certification for low visibility operations

Vistara has received the Category III Bravo (CAT III-B) certification from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Permitting its CAT IIIB compliant fleet and crew to safely take-off and touch-down with a Runway Visibility Range (RVR) of as low as 75 meters, the approval is a milestone achievement as it is the highest level of low-visibility rating awarded in India currently. The certification will enable Vistara to safely operate under low visibility conditions due to fog or any other poor weather conditions, which is anticipated in north east and northern parts of the country, typically during year-end and the beginning of the year. Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO, Vistara said “Although a bad weather condition is beyond our control, we always endeavor to minimise the inconvenience faced by our customers during a flight delay or diversion arising from inclement weather. We value the trust and faith our customers repose in us when they make Vistara their choice of travel. We are therefore committed to offer a seamless flying experience to them – be it in terms of deploying the most advanced technologies and systems for our aircraft, adequately training our crew or providing a memorable on-board experience. I am proud of my team’s relentless efforts in the past months to secure the regulatory approval for Cat 3B well in time before the fog season sets in. This certification will allow us to provide a seamless flying experience to our valued customers.” Vistara’s current fleet of 13 brand new A320s come with the integrated CAT IIIB auto land system, and its crew is given rigorous training to ensure the safety of its customers and providing a world class travel experience. Vistara …

Read More »

Ramesh Marwah appointed UFTAA CEO

Ramesh Marwah has been appointed the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of United Federation of Travel Agents’ Associations (UFTAA) to better administer UFTAA and offer regular support to members. He will endeavour to create increased connect between members as well. This was informed by UFTAA to all its members through a formal circular. Commenting on his position, Marwah said, “I am very excited and proud to be a part of UFTAA-the illustrious global federation which is also celebrating its golden jubilee this year. Every initiative will be in the direction of retaining confidence of travel agency associations in UFTAA; making UFTAA a global platform for knowledge, learning and networking and also maintaining free flow of communication to ensure UFTAA remains first point of contact when any issue props up in any part of the industry worldwide.” He is a proven professional with about 40 years experience of serving in various leadership positions with reputed organisations including international airlines, Italian DMC, global OTAs, etc.

Read More »

Go Beyond to represent City Lodge Hotel Group in India

Mumbai-based Go Beyond Representations has been appointed as the marketing representative of City Lodge Hotel Group in South Africa. The City Lodge Hotel Group is a multi-brand chain offering a variety of locations, features and budget choices to business and leisure travellers. Shantanu Chand, CEO, Go Beyond Representations, says, “The group has five distinct brands, currently offering 7,072 rooms at 57 Locations throughout Southern and Eastern Africa. Each of the five Courtyard hotels has its own distinct character and personality. We will be selling and marketing this entire hotel chain pan India.”

Read More »

Explora to promote Jordanian DMC in India

Mumbai-based travel representation company, Explora has been appointed to represent a Jordan-based DMC called Zawaya Travel & Tourism. Speaking about the appointment, Karishma Bijlani Kazi, CEO, Explora, says, “We have been appointed as the representatives of Zawaya Travel & Tourism to do their PR, marketing and sales in India. In today’s aggressive market place, we want our travel partners to stand out from the competition. To do this, we provide a robust custom-made service designed to meet individual needs, with the aim of creating strong brand awareness and more importantly, increase financial return. We want our travel partners to regard us as an extension of their own sales and marketing team and for us to work closely together to further develop and maintain successful relationships.” Explora was launched two months and is Kazi’s brainchild. Ghaleb Saloum, General Manager, Zawaya Travel & Tourism, says, “We have produced many successful meetings and incentives programs over the years for different markets. Zawaya Travel &Tourism handles all aspects of organising event from researching our clients’ requirements to the design of meetings and incentives programs, procurement of the massive sound and light systems to meeting and assistance of participants from all around the world. Incentive travel is one of the fastest growing segments within India’s outbound MICE movement thus; we have seen a great opportunity in providing a selection of customised, value-added experiences that cater to the tastes of this important market through its INSPIRE incentive programme. We have partnered with Explora to help us generate ideas, develop content and design our engagement activity. Explora can also help us develop relationships with different travel trade partners.”

Read More »

The Steigenberger Hotel Group is now Deutsche Hospitality

Steigenberger Hotels AG is changing its brand architecture and consolidating its three hotel brands into one umbrella brand: Deutsche Hospitality. Puneet Chhatwal, CEO, Steigenberger Hotels AG, says, “These two words combine our German roots and our international vision. The new umbrella brand is a vital lever that will unleash dynamism, help us to expand internationally, and drive innovation.” Deutsche Hospitality unites three hotel brands under one name: Steigenberger Hotels and Resorts; Jaz in the City, and IntercityHotels. A total of 116 hotels in twelve countries and on three continents are part of the Deutsche Hospitality umbrella brand. 20 of these hotels are under construction or in the planning stage.

Read More »

Ayana Fort Kochi to open in November 2016

Ayana Hospitality, a joint venture between the ICS Group (India) and Mantis Group (South Africa), will open its new hotel in Kochi called Ayana Fort Kochi in November 2016. Located in the heart of Fort Kochi, Ayana will be a luxury boutique hotel offering local architecture, culture and cuisine. Akhil Behl, CEO, Ayana Hospitality, says, “This converted hotel has the distinction of having been the court house during the Portuguese occupation and is said to be almost 200 years old. The main hotel reception has high wooden sloping roof, showcasing the perfect venue for a court proceeding. All 16 rooms feature authentic Indian Athangudi tile floors, combined with classic Art Deco interiors, successfully blending history with modern luxurious comfort.”

Read More »

Vistara to fly daily to Port Blair from Delhi and Kolkata

Vistara inaugurated operations to Port Blair, as its flight UK 747 took off from Delhi for Port Blair via Kolkata, at 0720 hours on Sept 30. With the addition of Port Blair, Vistara now serves 18 destinations across the length and breadth of the country. The new service to Port Blair offers a daily flight from Delhi and Kolkata (same aircraft service via Kolkata), with arrival and departure timings that allow for convenient connections to ferry and catamaran services between Port Blair and Havelock Island. Commenting on the launch of the new services, Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO, Vistara, said, “We are delighted to add Port Blair to our fast-growing network with a daily direct flight from Delhi via Kolkata. The Andamans are a beautiful part of India with rich history and breathtaking natural beauty. We are pleased to offer both the visitors, and the wonderful residents of this region, the chance to experience ‘the new feeling’ of flying Vistara, an airline that is setting new standards of service excellence, when they travel to and from Port Blair.” Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara, added, “Delivering on our brand promise to provide seamless, thoughtful and personalized services, we are pleased to introduce a variety of attractively priced packages in cooperation with top travel entities to offer our customers the most convenient travel in the Andamans. While Port Blair itself offers a lot to see and do, including the historic Cellular Jail and an excursion to the neighboring Ross Island, we have also timed our flights to offer the most convenient connections to and from the most popular inter-island ferries such as to Havelock Island.” Vistara also announced the addition …

Read More »